Novak Djokovic Monte Carlo Masters 2022

Novak Djokovic answers the question “who is better – Carlos Alcaraz or Holger Rune?”

GOAT contender Novak Djokovic is perfectly placed to sum up the talents of two of the most exciting players in world tennis, and he’s done just that…

According to Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz has the best forehand and Holger Rune has the best backhand, but both are ‘complete players for 19 years old’.

Djokovic was speaking after his shock 3 set defeat to Holger Rune in the final of the Paris Masters 1000 where he had lead 3-1 in the final set only to squander that advantage and eventually lose the set 7-5. The only other player to do this to him in his last 74 matches was Alexander Zverev at the Japan Olympics who recovered from a set down to Djokovic in a 3 set match on a hard court.

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Djokovic was asked what he felt were the main differences between Alcaraz and Rune when he revealed,

“They are similar in terms of physicality. I think they are both really fit. They train very hard. They are very dedicated guys. They defend, both of them, extremely well.

“Rune has better backhand. Alcaraz has better forehand. But they are both improving on those shots that maybe are not as good as maybe other shot. But they, you know, when I say, you know, is “not as good,” meaning it’s not huge difference. I mean, they have great shots. I mean, great forehand from Rune or great backhand from Alcaraz.

“They are very complete players for 19-year-olds. It’s quite impressive. Also their energy on the court, just wanting, motivating themselves and wanting to do well and staying mentally present, it’s impressive.

Djokovic kicked off the 2023 at the Australian Open where he dropped one set en route to the final, where he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets to claim his record-extending 10th Australian Open title while tying Nadal for the Open Era record of 22 men’s singles major titles and reclaiming the world No. 1 ranking from Carlos Alcaraz.

Then on 20 February 2023, Djokovic tied Steffi Graf’s record for most weeks as World No.1 that she set back 25 years ago in March of 1997.

The following week on 27 February he broke the record with 378 weeks at No. 1, the most of any tennis player male or female.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.